‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was born in Victoria, Texas, as Steven James Anderson, on December 18, 1964, the youngest of five children. His mother, Beverly Jane (Harrison), remarried to Kenneth Williams, and he took his stepfather’s surname. He played football at the North Texas State University. He was worthy of achieving a free education because of his football skills in school. Williams then began training at Chris Adams’s wrestling school as a rookie near the end of 1988, and made his professional wrestling debut at the end of 1989. He then moved over to minor wrestling companies to wrestle for money, and later entered WCW under the name of ‘Stunning Steve Austin’. He didn’t make a large name for himself in the company, as he only held an embarrassing two TV titles. Austin was fired by WCW and joined the WWF (now known as WWE) in December 1995. Austin left after a while to go to ECW but only stayed for a couple of weeks before he came back to the WWF as ‘Stone Cold Steve Austin’. Austin then disposed of his old finishing move the ‘Million Dollar Dream’, which was the trademark of ‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted Dibiase, and began racking up the victories with his Stone Cold Stunner (kick to the gut followed by a jawbreaker).
Austin then had a good winning streak going by 1996 and wrestled to become the 1996 King Of The Ring. Austin cut his lip open during one match, and had to get it stitched up in between matches. In the grand final of the KOTR he defeated Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts with a Stone Cold Stunner, and invented his famous motto as ‘Austin 3:16’. As 1997 rolled around Austin’s career soared to new heights. WCW realized Austin’s popularity, and tried to make a ‘clone’ when they invited ‘Bill Goldberg’ to compete for them. During that year, Austin won the WWF Intercontinental Championship twice and the Tag Team Championships. When Austin successfully defended the IC title against Rocky Maivia (now known as The Rock, real name Dwayne Johnson) on a taping of RAW, he was ordered to defend it again because he drove his pickup truck to the ring and delivered a Stunner to D’Lo Brown (‘A.C. Conner’) on the roof, which Vince McMahon saw as weapon usage. Austin refused to defend the title again and dumped the old belt in a river, and therefore McMahon crowned Rocky Maivia as the new champion. However, Austin said he didn’t care about that title, and set his sights on the Heavyweight Championship. Although Austin had won the 1997 Royal Rumble to qualify as the Number 1 Contender for the championship at WrestleMania XIII, he didn’t get the place because he was eliminated but referees didn’t notice, so instead, Austin fought Bret Hart in an Iron Man match which Hart won when Austin passed out from blood loss when he was trapped in a Sharpshooter. However, Austin successfully won the 1998 Royal Rumble when he eliminated Rocky Maivia. A stipulation was made for the main event at WrestleMania XIV (Austin vs. Shawn Michaels): the special guest referee would be Iron Mike Tyson! Austin had made a friendship with Tyson, but all though Tyson betrayed him when he joined DX! However, Tyson shocked the world when Austin hit Michaels with a Stone Cold Stunner and covered him while Tyson made the count, to win his first heavyweight title! Austin then went on to enjoy three months as champion when he lost the title to Kane (Glenn Jacobs)in a First Blood match on June 28, 1998, at King Of The Ring. However, Austin regained the title a day later, and was forced to compete for it in a tournament at the 1998 Survivor Series. He was defeated by Mankind (‘Mick Foley’), and later that night, The Rock won the championship and joined the Corporation.
As 1999 came around, Austin became embroiled in a feud with The Rock when Vince McMahon eliminated him from the Royal Rumble while The Rock had him distracted. However, Austin still got the place in the main event at WrestleMania XV, and he won his third championship from The Rock with a Stone Cold Stunner. He retained the title against The Rock in a Boiler Room Brawl at Backlash 1999. Austin lost the title to The Undertaker (‘Mark Callaway’), but regained it in July 1999. Later that year, at the 1999 Survivor Series Austin was ran over by a car and had to have spinal surgery, and was out of action for the next 11 months. However, Austin returned to the wrestling scene at Backlash 2000 when he helped The Rock win his fourth WWF Championship from Triple H (‘Michael Paul LeVesque’). Austin was then welcomed back to wrestle in October 2000 at No Mercy, when he fought Rikishi (‘Solofa Fatu’) in a No Holds Barred match which had to be stopped when Austin was about to run Rikishi over but was arrested by the police. The mystery was revealed that it was Triple H who had Rikishi run Austin over, and Austin battled Triple H at Survivor Series 2000, and won the match. Steve had a chance to win the WWF title from Kurt Angle, who was reigning at the time, at Armaggedon 2000, in a Six-Man Hell In A Cell Match, which also had Kurt Angle, The Rock, Triple H, Rikishi, and The Undertaker. Austin had the title in his grasp when he hit The Rock with a Stone Cold Stunner, but Angle snuck up and covered The Rock to retain the title.
Austin’s hopes raised yet again when he eliminated Kane from the 2001 Royal Rumble, therefore becoming the first and only ever three-time Royal Rumble winner, and the Number One Contender for the WWF Championship. At No Way Out 2001, Austin lost a 2-Out-Of-3 Falls match to Triple H, when they both knocked each other out, but Triple H fell on top of Austin. Later that night, The Rock defeated Kurt Angle to become the first-ever six-time WWF World Champion, therefore deciding that the main event at WrestleMania X7 would be The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin defeated The Rock on April 1, 2001, for his fifth WWF title, but turned heel when he joined forces with Vince McMahon. The Rock was suspended from the WWF for almost four months. Austin’s reign as Champion lasted for 5 months and 22 days, which was the longest championship reign in several years. Austin won the Tag Team Championship with Triple H at Backlash 2001, but they lost them again on May 21, on a taping of RAW to Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. In that same match, Triple H tore his quadricep muscle and had to go to hospital for eight months of surgery. At King Of The Ring 2001 on June 24 Austin retained the title successfully from both Jericho and Benoit in a Triple Threat match.
Austin shocked the world by turning heel again on July 22, 2001 when he joined the WCW/ECW Alliance, helping them win the Inaugural Brawl against the WWF, and also invented the catchphrase of 2001, which was “What?”. However, Vince McMahon reinstated The Rock on July 30. In August, Kurt Angle started feuding with Austin and was determined to take the championship back from him at Summerslam. Austin disqualified himself to remain the champion, however, Angle won the title back from him at Unforgiven on September 23, 2001. Austin then regained the title from Angle on RAW in October, when William Regal came to his aid. In November, Austin narrowly escaped losing the title to The Rock at Rebellion, with a little help from Kurt Angle. Later that month, The Rock put the WCW/ECW Alliance out of business in the Winner Take All match, which was also Austin’s first loss to The Rock. However, Austin returned to the federation, still as the heavyweight champion the night after, but lost it to Chris Jericho on December 9, 2001, when Jericho became the first-ever Undisputed Champion when Austin was defeated in the grand finals. Austin then challenged Jericho for the Undisputed title at No Way Out 2002 in February, and would have won the match, but the nWo interfered and attacked Austin, helping Jericho retain the title. Austin then feuded with the nWo’s Scott Hall and faced him in a match at WrestleMania X8, which Austin won, even putting away the difficulty that was made by the constant interfering of Kevin Nash. At Backlash 2002 Austin faced the Undertaker in a Number 1 Contender match for the Undisputed Championship, but Austin was screwed out of the decision when The Undertaker booted a steel chair into his face and covered him for the pinfall. Austin had his foot on the rope, but special referee Ric Flair didn’t notice. Austin began feuding with Flair and faced him in a 2-On-1 Handicap match at Judgment Day 2002 – Flair’s partner was Big Show Paul Wight. That would be Austin’s last PPV match, as early in June, he did not show up for a taping of RAW. Austin has not been seen since. He is 6’2″, and when he first entered the federation he weighed 241 pounds, but boosted up to 252 later on in his career. He says that his weight “depends on how much beer I drink”.
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